Uee in 2018
April 9, 1988
Daegu, South Korea
|Alma mater||Sungkyunkwan University|
|Revised Romanization||Gim Yu-jin|
Kim Yu-jin (born April 9, 1988), better known by her stage name Uee (sometimes romanized as U-ie), is a South Korean singer and actress. She is best known for being a former member of South Korean girl group After School from 2009 to 2017, and has acted in various television dramas including Queen Seondeok (2009), Ojakgyo Family (2011), Jeon Woo-chi (2012), Golden Rainbow (2013), High Society (2015), Marriage Contract (2016) and My Only One (2018). On May 31, 2017, Uee graduated and left After School and its agency, Pledis Entertainment. She is now under King Entertainment.
Kim Yu-jin was born April 9, 1988, in Daegu, South Korea. Her father, Kim Sung-kap, is a professional baseball coach for the South Korean team, Nexen Heroes. She has an older sister, Kim Yu-na. Uee attended Incheon Physical Education High School. While in high school, she was a swimmer and competed in the Korean National Sports Festival. She later graduated from Sungkyunkwan University.
2007–2008: Five Girls and career beginnings
Uee originally desired to be an actress and went to many auditions, but she debuted as a singer first. In 2007, Uee was a member of the girl group Five Girls (Korean: 오소녀; RR: O Sonyeo) under Good Entertainment, which also included Yubin, Jun Hyoseong, Yang Jiwon, and G.NA. The group starred in a reality show on MTV called Diary of Five Girls, but disbanded before their scheduled debut due to Good Entertainment's financial troubles.
2009–2016: After School and acting career
In April 2009, Uee joined the girl group After School with their single "Diva". She became known for her "honey thighs" and proved popular with the general public, often topping online search rankings on various Korean websites.
In July, she made her acting debut in MBC's historical drama, Queen Seondeok, which was well received and won various awards. She was subsequently cast in SBS's musical drama You're Beautiful, which started airing in October. Later that month, she joined the project group, 4Tomorrow, which consists Han Seung-yeon, Hyuna, and Gain; and released the single "Dugeundugeun Tomorrow" (Korean: 두근두근 Tomorrow) on October 6, 2009. That same year, she joined the MBC's reality show We Got Married and was paired with Park Jae-jung. Uee ranked eighth on Forbes Korea's list of most hardworking idols in 2009–2010.
Uee had lead roles in two television dramas in 2011. In Birdie Buddy, she played a country girl who strives to become a professional golfer. The drama's director, Yun Sang-ho, praised Uee's "flawless acting", saying, "I believe actors from idol groups such as Uee and Luna improve more quickly because they have so much talent and passion". In Ojakgyo Family, Uee played a university student with a difficult family history. She earned praise for her natural acting and received Best New Actress awards at the Paeksang Arts Awards and KBS Drama Awards. Uee released her first solo single, "Sok Sok Sok" (쏙쏙쏙), on June 21, 2011. She also co-hosted the variety show Night After Night.
In January 2012, Uee became a permanent host on the KBS music show, Music Bank, along with Lee Jang-woo. She continued hosting the show until April 2013. From November 2012 to February 2013, she starred as princess Hong Mu-yeon in Jeon Woo-chi, a historical drama set during the Joseon Dynasty. When she was cast for the role, Uee expressed her desire to be seen as a serious actor, saying "I want to do away with the 'idol singer-turned-actor' in this piece and really step up my performance". During the shoot, she was praised for her ability to immerse herself in the character and give a detailed performance.
Uee was a permanent cast member of SBS' survival variety show Barefooted Friends in 2013. During the show, she performed the song "Hero" at a special concert. The song was produced by Duble Sidekick and co-written by Uee, and subsequently released on the soundtrack album My Story, My Song on August 19. She had a lead role in the drama Golden Rainbow, and received an Excellence Award at the 2013 MBC Drama Awards for the role.
In mid-2014, Uee was a member of the survival variety show Law of the Jungle, appearing in the Indian Ocean episodes. In April of that year, she told Ilgan Sports she had lost some of her passion for singing and dancing, and plans to further her acting career once she graduates from After School.
In early 2015, Uee starred in tvN's romantic comedy Hogu's Love, playing a national swimming champion. She was then cast in the SBS drama High Society, playing a rich heiress who hides her identity in order to find true love. In an interview, Uee acknowledged that some viewers were disappointed with her performance, and she had "never been more criticized for poor acting". In October 2015, Uee joined the variety show, Fists of Shaolin Temple, where the cast members received martial arts training.
Uee's next drama, MBC's Marriage Contract, begin airing on March 5, 2016. She plays a single mother with a terminal illness who enters into a contract marriage. In November, Uee starred in the MBC drama Night Light where she plays a poor woman who turns her life around with an opportunity.
2017–present: Focus on acting
Uee's contract with Pledis Entertainment ended on 31 May 2017, therefore she graduated from After School. In June 2017, she signed with new management agency Yuleum Entertainment. She then starred alongside Kim Jae-joong in KBS's fantasy romance-comedy drama Manhole.
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Sok Sok Sok"
(featuring JR of NU'EST)
(featuring Kim Jungah)
|2013||—||Barefooted Friends: My Story, My Song|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.|
|2009||Queen Seondeok||MBC||young Mishil|
|You're Beautiful||SBS||Yoo He-yi|
|2010||My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox||Art major in college||cameo (Episode 5)|
|2011||All My Love||MBC||Kim Yu-jin||cameo (Episode 182&210)|
|Birdie Buddy||tvN||Sung Mi-soo|
|Ojakgyo Family||KBS2||Baek Ja-eun|
|2012||Jeon Woo-chi||Princess Hong Mu-yeon|
|2013||Golden Rainbow||MBC||Kim Baek-won|
|2015||Hogu's Love||tvN||Do Do-hee|
|High Society||SBS||Jang Yoon-ha|
|She Was Pretty||MBC||Guest for The Most 20th Anniversary||cameo (Episode 9)|
|2016||Marriage Contract||Kang Hye-soo|
|Night Light||Lee Se-jin|
|2018||My Contracted Husband, Mr. Oh||MBC||Han Seung-joo|
|My Only One||KBS2||Kim Do-ran|
|2009||We Got Married Season 2||MBC||Cast member|
|2010||Night After Night||Co-host|
|2013||Barefooted Friends||SBS||Cast member|
|2014||Law of the Jungle in Indian Ocean||Episodes 117 – 125|
|2015||Fists of Shaolin Temple|
|2017||Law of the Jungle in New Zealand||Episodes 265 – 270|
Awards and nominations
|2009||9th MBC Entertainment Awards||Best Newcomer – Female (Variety Show)||We Got Married||Won|||
|2011||2nd Barbie & Ken Awards||Barbie of the Year||N/A||Won|
|25th KBS Drama Awards||Best New Actress||Ojakgyo Family||Won|||
|2012||48th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best New Actress (TV)||Won|||
|26th KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Mid-length Drama||Jeon Woo-chi||Nominated|
|2013||32nd MBC Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Project Drama||Golden Rainbow||Won|||
|2015||8th Korea Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress||High Society||Nominated|
|23rd SBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Nominated|
|9th SBS Entertainment Awards||Best Teamwork Award||Fists of Shaolin Temple||Won|
|2016||5th APAN Star Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries||Marriage Contract||Nominated|
|1st Asia Artist Awards||Best Celebrity Award, Actress||Nominated|
|29th Grimae Awards||Best Actress||Won|||
|35th MBC Drama Awards||Grand Prize (Daesang)||Nominated|
|Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Special Project Drama||Won|
|2018||11th Korea Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress||My Contracted Husband, Mr. Oh||Nominated|||
|6th APAN Star Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Serial Drama||Nominated|||
|23rd KCA Consumer Day Awards||Best Drama Actor||My Only One||Won|||
|37th MBC Drama Awards||Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Weekend Special Project||My Contracted Husband, Mr. Oh||Nominated|
|Selfish Motive Award – Organic Parody Award (with Kim Kang-woo)||Won|
|32nd KBS Drama Awards||Excellence Award, Actress in a Serial Drama||My Only One||Won|||
|Best Couple (with Lee Jang-woo)||Won|
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